Wow, so much has
happened since I wrote Amanda's story. It's hard to believe that she is
23. Over 19 months ago Amanda moved to a respite center in Yakima Washington.
Because of her spinal surgery that was coming up this was the best thing to do
for her. It was also the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. It still is.
My arms ache to hold her daily to see her smile and to hear her laughter.
Amanda had her
spinal surgery and she did profoundly well. I was so amazed that all our
countless hours of wandering if it was the right thing to do including the
doctors, then deciding to go ahead and do the surgery and it coming out so
fantastic. We were only able to get her spine back to a 30 degree curve but it
is a livable curve. She healed terrifically. We were told she would be in her
back brace for quite sometime and then she was out of it in 6 weeks. That was
just another side showing how rezealant our kids can be.
We decided in
January 2002 to move to Yakima to be close to her as well. Whoo hooo was I in
heaven to be able to go see her when ever I could. That was the greatest. To be
close to my nanna bugg =) It was an awesome year. Amanda was attending the
local high school and seemed to really be enjoying it. While at the respite
center she adopted herself some real wonderful pals. Gary and Rhonda especially
were her buds. Had them wrapped around her finger something terrible. LOL But
once again my baby doll was touching peoples lives. Leaving a giant spot in
their hearts when she left there just recently. Amanda moved to DuPont
Washington to an Adult family home. Wendy and Lloyd are incredible. If they
weren't the house parents I don't think I could stand it. They see Amanda as
just whom she is they see beyond the body. Thank you to both of you.
When Grandpa first
went to see her he said she was doing pretty good. He first went to see her on Valentines day and
took her a valentines gift. She took a minute to react but when she realized it
was grandpa.... I know her heart was ok..... We've always been such a close family and it is more than I can put
in words just tears on a keyboard that even though my daughter is a grown up I
miss her and the hole is so huge I feel like I will fall right in it. I promised
her that I'd always take care of her and for me that meant she would always be
One reason I think
house mom is a pretty outstanding person is when I had a chance to speak to her on the
phone in the beginning of Amanda's stay, she has voiced many of the same concerns I have. She needs therapy and
some of the therapies I was making sure were done aren't being done and I know
she isn't getting alot of things she used to.. She loves to be pampered and I
remember saying one day to the folks at the respite center why doesn't she use
her special soaps and lotions and why weren't they shaving her legs. One
response was they didn't use perfumed things on the floor because of others but
another statement was it isn't a real necessity. She loves her tea rose and
everything smelling like it. That is part of her independence as a human and
just because she has a disability doesn't mean there isn't a person inside that
body that doesn't think and comprehend because there IS!!! I'm
looking forward to seeing how things go for her there. Eventually we are looking
to purchasing a home for her or a home with a mother in law house so that we can
make her a home there that she could share with another individual or two with
round the clock care providers. Vickie Hendrickson and I just recently spoke
about this and she tells me there are a group of parents in California doing
this too so I'm looking forward to learning and hearing from others about it.
Last year Amanda
finally graduated from High School. How exciting it was to do just what I told
her I would walk her down the isle!
Thank you for
taking the time to read these stories